It is the most exciting time of year for us up here in Estes Park. Everything is starting to get rolling, wildlife is emerging from a long winter, and most importantly, the fishing is kicking off. There have been some incredible fish caught on the local rivers and the action is just heating up. As of this posting, most of the high mountains still have a cap of ice on them so if you are thinking about venturing into Rocky Mountain National Park for some fishing, it is best to give it a bit before making the trek. Elsewhere it is typical spring fishing in the Front Range. Speaking of getting out and going fishing, whether you are slinging bugs or bass poppers, Kirk’s Flyshop has opened a new destination in the heart of the Rockies, Grand Lake. If you are a trout fisherman worth his tippet, you know about the legendary lake trout up in Grand Lake. For fly fishing, the area is one of the best in the country for wild browns and rainbows. Stop on by when you get up there and we can get you a selection of local fly patterns making your trip a “Grand” slam.
Many of us are eager to get moving after our fishing hibernation, right now is the perfect time to do it. A few things about spring fishing in Colorado: it still gets cold and we can still get surprise snowstorms, but those aspects just make it more exciting, right? In all seriousness, spring can be a dangerous time for fly fishing and you need to have the right gear. The water is originating from snowmelt way up on the continental divide and can drift down still frigid. Trust us, after standing all day in springtime water, sometimes you can’t feel your toes. This can be incredibly dangerous when there is a sudden drop in temperature. Which happens often in the spring.
You also need to consider the time of day that the sun is going to set and make adjustments if you are going to be wading the canyon.
Spring, for all of its challenges, offers some of the most enjoyable fly fishing of the year. If you want you can sink a nymph or hit them on top with a dry. The hatches are right around the corner and if you can be on the water at the right time, you may even witness one. Of course, no hatch is worth losing your life over and dressing for the season can be especially tricky this time of year. The first thing you have to remember is to leave the cotton at home, we don’t care if it is your favorite Van Halen t-shirt, leave it home. We have a saying up here in the mountains: cotton kills. That’s right, cotton will kill you if it absorbs enough water, you can become hypothermic very quickly. That means no sweat pants under your waders this spring either.
Stay Away From Cotton
Aside from not wearing cotton, you got that right? Don’t wear cotton! There is a virtual creel of options that are available for spring fishing. The thing you do not want to give up is your breathable waders as they will whisk away moisture when you are sweating during the afternoon and getting that moisture away from your skin is what you want. We all know that even in the middle of summer, due to our crystal clear snowmelt rivers, your feet can get cold inside of a pair of wading boots. Look for synthetic socks like hiking socks and use a liner. A hat and gloves should be in your pack just in case, you never know when you are going to hike out after the sun has dipped below the mountains. Be sure and pick something other than your favorite fedora and go with something that will keep you warm, and that does not mean your dirty Colorado flag hat.
Staying safe in spring can mean dealing with ice on the edges of the river. As we said before, many of the high country lakes are still frozen and the rivers tend to ice up on the edges, especially if they are in the shaded part of the canyon. When navigating ice, at any time, the best thing to do is stay away, the possibility for falling in is greatly increased when dealing with ice. The water is cold this time of year and if you fall in and your waders fill up with water, it could be catastrophic. Just practice more mindfulness in the spring and you will enjoy some of the best fishing of the year.
Book With Kirks for Spring Fly Fishing
If you are ready to get out there and experience spring fly fishing, contact Kirk’s Flyshop and reserve your spot on some of our exclusive private water trips. Don’t worry, we provide everything, from waders to fly rods, all you have to do is show up. Not an experienced fisherman? No problem. We cater to all levels of fly anglers from beginners to hardcore trout bums. Book your guided fly fishing trip today with Kirk’s Flyshop today and experience unforgettable spring fishing in the Rocky Mountains.